If the triple option had wings…

… it might look something like this:

Yet head coach Mike Gundy’s actual strategy was the complete inverse. It was the defense, and not the offense, that dictated where the ball went. Using a no-huddle approach, Oklahoma State often called the same, simple play repeatedly as they marched up and down the field, with Weeden as point guard for their dynamic attack. The basis was simple: “It’s all runs or throws on the perimeter, all built into one,” explained Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator, Todd Monken. “[Against Texas] A&M, we ended up with a lot of throws on the perimeter that were built-in runs, so that [Weeden] gets all the stats, but they’re really just part of your run package.”

Oklahoma State’s favorite “run package” was to combine an inside running play, like the inside zone, with both a quick receiver screen to one side and an individual route to a singled-up Justin Blackmon. It made for a kind of three-on-one fast break adapted to football.

The concept is called “packaged plays” and it’s the next big thing on the offensive side of the ball.  It’s all about creating a numbers game that allows the offense to overwhelm the defense at a certain area on the field.   Sound familiar?  And it’s especially effective when it’s run as part of a no-huddle scheme.  Or at least a certain kind of no-huddle scheme.

“In the no-huddle context, the advantage of packaged plays becomes particularly acute,” says Grabowski, adding, “An offense that can run these packaged plays at the fastest tempos can get a vanilla look that further simplifies the read on a key defender.” If you’re going to go fast-paced no-huddle to prevent defenses from substituting or setting up in something exotic, you have to do it, well, fast, and slow audibles with lots of words and gyrations at the line are not that.

TAMU and Missouri both saw this deployed against them last year… will they be the ones to introduce packaged plays to the SEC?


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

26 responses to “If the triple option had wings…

  1. Spike

    May I blame Bobo?

    • AusDawg85

      Gotta give credit where due. I went to the link NateG put up yesterday and thought this was an incredibly good article on modern offenses.

      • NateG

        Thank you kind sir. As soon as I read that article I knew it would peak the good Senator’s interest. I don’t see Georgia ever moving to something like this full time, but damn if it wouldn’t be exciting to see Murray execute a few packaged plays now and then. When combined with the no-huddle, a strong power running game and a stout defense I can’t help but think this would be a devastating wrinkle.

  2. Not sure I totally understand. Are these “plays” a combination of run/pass and the QB decides what to do after the snap? So they can give the defense the same basic look, yet the D doesn’t know exactly what is going to happen?

    Isn’t that basically play action?

    • You’re not running the ball in play action. In a packaged play, the run is still an option, depending on how the defense deploys.

      • Yup, I just reread the entire article again and it made sense. I guess that it what I get from getting on the computer before breakfast.

        I guess the “lynchpin” in this type of scheme relies on a QB that REALLY knows his stuff. Secondly, I wonder if coaches are going to be “ok” with turning over the offense to the QB. Obviously Gundy is/was but I couldn’t imagine Spurrior being comfortable with just telling the QB what package to run and to make the best decision at snap.

        And, lastly, will these work on our big bad SEC defenses where the QB’s decision time is less due to our speed? Very interesting article, Senator.

  3. RocketDawg

    I fully expect this to be Missouri’s game plan against us. It’s really their only chance if you look at it logically. They shouldn’t be able to power up and run against our front 7 and our pass rush theorectically should be able to get to Franklin before he can load up and chuck it downfield.

    • The other Doug

      I think we are going to get the dink and dunk.

      • NateG

        I think you’re right. I also wonder how packaged plays would work against a flexible, athletic defense like ours.

      • Macallanlover

        For all my life UGA seems to have been vulnerable to an offensive plan that is patient enough to take the short pass and drive down the field.. We seem to bet they will make a mistake (penalty, busted play, INT) or lose their patience. Out coverage cushions have always given enough room for the Kellen Moore type QBs to move the ball on us. Of course, when the field to defend gets smaller, we know we have to defend more closely. Not saying that is a bad philosophy but it does keep our D on the field longer which keeps our offense on the sideline.

        • The Lone Stranger

          The Grantham is changing this calling-card.

          • AusDawg85

            And CTG comes from the pro’s. He’s seen this, defended this, and brought his philosophy for this to UGA. Hence the “shifting” 3 – 4 and areas of assignment style of play he’s teaching his guys. I think this is partly why you’ll see a LB/DE role that JJ plays drop back in coverage with the TE, or go wide in his rush to disrupt the WR screen. Can’t do that as well with a big traditional DE in a 4 – 3 set.

          • Macallanlover

            It does appear so, LS. I admit I was more concerned about his defense stopping the power run at first but getting two good NTs has answered that concern well enough. I am still a little disappointed in the number of all-out attacking blitzes with TFL and sacks/hurries but that also appears to be picking up and could be personnel related too. All in all, that 1st half against LSU was a thing of beauty and has me panting for more in 2012.

      • Cojones

        When this many fans surmise the same O action against us (dinky passes over the middle) independently we have come to the same suspicioning conclusion. Add to that Franklin’s propensity to run and you have a Gordian knot tied to our D’s tail. I certainly think that Richt, Bobo and Grantham are aware, but am not sure it can be solved when run by an O of high octane that is well trained. There are possibilities out there (Mizzou, SC, FU, Aub, GT), but I don’t think they can put all of their pieces together in time this year. Any carry-over teams that have the same O players next year could have enough time to perfect it against the best Ds out there. Too many changes in those teams mentioned to be able to consistently run those plays as a steady diet, but we should expect that some will get away with a few of them this year, just hope not enough to be game changers.

        Of course we will be among those teams with an O that can run those plays.

  4. DawgPhan

    nice read. explains it really well. That article was a little better than some of his “under the hood” were he really geeks out.

  5. The only defense to this type of offense? Winning individual matchups in the right spots (aka out-talenting them). It’s predicated on having one-on-one matchups at least come to a draw every play… at least on the interior of the line. For instance, it doesn’t matter if your key defender gives the run if you can’t block the behemoth at NT. If the o-line can neutralize the front four… at least come to a draw every play, then the QB can make his reads and, so long as he makes good decisions and throws, cannot be stopped.

  6. stoopnagle

    If Iowa State can do it, I’m pretty sure Bama, LSU, UGA, S. Carolina, Arkansas, Florida and Auburn can, too.

  7. Hogbody Spradlin

    If the triple option had wings…Then it wouldn’t bump its ass, right?

    I don’t understand this X’s and O’s stuff worth a durn.

  8. Hackerdog

    I don’t expect to see this offense much in the SEC. As the article said, it’s most effective when run out of a fast, no-huddle system. And the SEC has outlawed that kind of a system.

  9. Always Someone Else's Fault

    The “read one defender” offenses can be a thing of beauty, but they have clear limits. In theory, Colt McCoy doesn’t even need to worry about the existence of Marcel Darius on that sprint option. And Nick Fairley did a decent enough job of tackling two Ducks at once to grind Oregon to a halt.

    Variation in your offense is a wonderful thing, but NFL offenses all fall within a schematic range for a reason – the defensive talent in that league just limits what you can get away with. Same thing, to a lesser degree, in this conference.

  10. shane#1

    I thought last season that the play packages could fit in well with the UGA no huddle, it took too long to signal plays in from the sidelines. Rather than a spread I wanted two and three TE line ups last year, Split Charles or White or both out and with Figgins you still have some power run blocking. You could but a TE in motion and overload one side of the D for the run or the pass. Some many options there and the D couldn’t substitute. I don’t see why a version of this couldn’t be run with Artie and Jay. Rome is fast enough to split out.

  11. Rebar

    Listen, this is just more of the anti SEC bias showing; defense wins championships in college ball. One on one match ups work great in other leagues, here you are expected to stand your ground and defend your mud hut! They don’t run so fast after you’ve hit them full speed.

  12. lrgk9

    Even Saint Urban packed it in on the little pitch forward to the RB by the QB. He said – the DEs in the SEC thought they were the receiver on that play.